Analysts’ Weekly Ratings Updates for W W Grainger (GWW)

A number of research firms have changed their ratings and price targets for W W Grainger (NYSE: GWW):

  • 1/30/2018 – W W Grainger was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating. They now have a $319.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Grainger’s top and bottom lines improved year over year in fourth-quarter fiscal 2017. Both the figures beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Grainger raised its fiscal 2018 earnings per share guidance range to $12.95-$14.15, reflecting contribution from the better-than-expected fiscal 2017 operating performance, benefits from lower corporate tax rate under the U.S. tax legislation and from incremental share buybacks funded by the benefits of the tax legislation. The company maintains sales growth guidance in the range of 3-7% for fiscal 2018. Grainger will benefit from pricing initiatives, digital marketing strategies, focus on improving cost structure and efforts to bring its Canadian business back to profitability. It also remains focused on improving services to customers and consistent direct-to-customer shipping. Moreover, the stock has outperformed the industry over the past year.”
  • 1/26/2018 – W W Grainger had its “hold” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Stifel Nicolaus. They now have a $278.00 price target on the stock.
  • 1/25/2018 – W W Grainger had its price target raised by analysts at Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. from $245.00 to $320.00. They now have an “outperform” rating on the stock.
  • 1/25/2018 – W W Grainger had its price target raised by analysts at Credit Suisse Group AG from $190.00 to $240.00. They now have an “underperform” rating on the stock.
  • 1/25/2018 – W W Grainger had its price target raised by analysts at Wells Fargo & Co from $220.00 to $260.00. They now have a “market perform” rating on the stock.
  • 1/25/2018 – W W Grainger had its price target raised by analysts at BMO Capital Markets from $224.00 to $235.00. They now have a “market perform” rating on the stock.
  • 1/25/2018 – W W Grainger had its “underperform” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Royal Bank of Canada. They now have a $206.00 price target on the stock.
  • 1/25/2018 – W W Grainger was upgraded by analysts at Robert W. Baird from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating.
  • 1/25/2018 – W W Grainger had its “hold” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Stephens. They now have a $264.00 price target on the stock.
  • 1/23/2018 – W W Grainger is now covered by analysts at UBS Group AG. They set a “sell” rating and a $215.00 price target on the stock.
  • 1/22/2018 – W W Grainger was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Grainger expects sales growth in the range of 1.5-2.5% and earnings per share between $10.40 and $10.90 for 2017. The company projects sales growth of 3 to 7% and earnings per share to lie within $10.60 to $11.80 for 2018. Even though the company remains focused on reducing cost structure in Canada, the segment remains challenged due to higher expenses. Grainger’s pricing actions and a better economy are driving volume growth with large and medium customers. The stock has outperformed the industry in the past six months. The single channel online businesses continued to deliver strong sales growth and improved profits. Revenues will be benefited as digital marketing strategies boost demand. However, increased investment in digital marketing capabilities will impact margins in the near term. “
  • 1/16/2018 – W W Grainger was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating. According to Zacks, “Grainger’s anticipates sales growth in the range of 1.5-2.5% and earnings per share to lie between $10.40 and $10.90 for 2017. The midpoint of the earnings guidance reflects an 8% year-over-year decline due to ongoing challenges in Canada operations and headwind from the sale of the specialty business. Grainger’s Canada business is struggling due to higher expenses and weakness in the energy sector. Inflationary expenses due to the incremental investments in the single channel online business and digital marketing will pressure Grainger's margins. In addition, Grainger’s new web pricing strategy that was launched to reverse unfavorable market share trends will affect margins in the short term. It remains to be seen whether the company can retain its customer base if its competitors also resort to slashing prices. “
  • 1/9/2018 – W W Grainger had its “underperform” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Credit Suisse Group AG. They now have a $190.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $172.00. They noted that the move was a valuation call. They noted that the move was a valuation call.
  • 1/4/2018 – W W Grainger had its “sell” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Royal Bank of Canada. They now have a $192.00 price target on the stock.

W W Grainger Inc (NYSE:GWW) opened at $267.34 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.23, a quick ratio of 1.18 and a current ratio of 2.13. W W Grainger Inc has a 12 month low of $155.00 and a 12 month high of $298.14. The stock has a market capitalization of $15,058.96, a P/E ratio of 26.68, a PEG ratio of 2.00 and a beta of 0.88.

W W Grainger (NYSE:GWW) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, January 24th. The industrial products company reported $2.94 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.18 by $0.76. W W Grainger had a return on equity of 35.76% and a net margin of 5.62%. The firm had revenue of $2.63 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.57 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $2.45 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 6.5% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts anticipate that W W Grainger Inc will post 13.81 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 1st. Investors of record on Monday, February 12th will be given a dividend of $1.28 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, February 9th. This represents a $5.12 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.92%. W W Grainger’s dividend payout ratio is presently 51.10%.

In other news, Director Lucas E. Watson purchased 195 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 5th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $256.51 per share, for a total transaction of $50,019.45. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP Eric R. Tapia sold 100 shares of W W Grainger stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $266.06, for a total value of $26,606.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 3,563 shares in the company, valued at $947,971.78. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 30,258 shares of company stock worth $6,790,898 over the last 90 days. 9.60% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

W.W. Grainger, Inc (Grainger) is a distributor of maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) supplies and other related products and services. The Company offers its products and services to businesses and institutions in the United States and Canada, with presence also in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

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